Comparing Experiences of Academic Mobility and Migration

In: Comparative Sociology
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  • 1 Centre for Citizenship and Globalization (CCG)Faculty of Arts and Education Deakin University,
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Academic mobility and accompanying migration have become increasingly evident as manifestations of globalization and internationalization of education worldwide. This paper aims to provide some insights into intercultural communication in academia by comparing experiences of students and academics who partake in academic mobility or/and academic migration. It seeks to reflect on how differences in cultural patterns impact on the integrational experiences and outcomes of academic learning and everyday interactions. Two contrasting cultural patterns of collectivism and individualism are explored, as they are displayed in intercultural interactions among migrants and hosting societies. To expose this contrast effectively, this paper focuses on the Russian-speaking mobile academics and compares their intercultural experiences in academia of two countries—Italy and Australia. In-depth interviews were conducted with twenty-two academic migrants or/and mobile academics on their experiences, views and perceptions of intercultural integration in two diverse settings. This paper explores diverse aspects of intercultural dialogue and compares perceptions of intercultural integration and feelings of wellbeing. It analyses evolving empirical manifestations of cosmopolitanism in everyday intercultural interactions and argues that postmodern cosmopolitan milieu facilitates intercultural integration and enables knowledge transfer and creation of shared cultural meanings.

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